The historic Kestrel ferry has been raised out of the Waitemata Harbour and is now sitting on dry land.

Three cranes and pumps were used to float the 170 tonne hull to the water's surface yesterday, and the ferry finally made it to an Auckland slipway at about 1am today.

Third crane brought in to lift historic Auckland ferry the Kestrel from seabed
Salvage operation to raise historic Kestrel begins at Wynyard wharf

Twelve salvage experts were involved in the operation, including divers and crane operators. The ship was floated to the surface at about 8pm, but the operation had to wait until high tide to move the ship to Titan Marine Engineering at Wynyard Quarter.


The ship was filled with mud inside and out, said the director of the salvage company, Brett Shipman.

He said it would remain on the slipway for at least a few more days while it was assessed by an insurance company.

The 123 foot-long Kestrel was launched in Auckland in December 1905 to service the Auckland to Devonport ferry run, and was used as a ferry and excursion vessel around Auckland until 2002.

The Kestrel sunk after flooding at its Wynyard Quarter berth overnight on March 7.